Off-Page SEO: What You Need to Know
“Whether it’s Google or Apple or free software, we’ve got some fantastic competitors and it keeps us on our toes.” – Bill Gates, Co-founder of Microsoft
Whether you’re a newcomer to the online space and have just launched your website, or a seasoned cyber business looking to boost its overall presence online, you need SEO (Search Engine Optimization). More specifically you need to focus on particular areas of SEO best practices to boost your presence and footprint.
There are many facets to an SEO campaign that either make it or break it. One such facet is off-page SEO (Search Engine Optimization). You may have heard of it in passing or you might have a reasonably good knowledge of it. Either way, let’s have a little recap of what it is, why it is important and some ways in which you can boost your SEO campaign.
You should keep in mind that any processes related to SEO optimization is a long-term thing. It takes time and it definitely won’t happen overnight. You need to keep two things in mind. One is that off-page SEO is only a piece of the overall SEO process. Things like on-page SEO, page optimization and so on all come together to play an important part. The second thing is, you need to stay consistent in your efforts. With that in mind, let’s get into it!
What is Off-Page SEO?
Off-page SEO which is also sometimes called “off-site SEO” refers to actions that one takes outside of the website. These actions ultimately affect the overall ranking of your website within the search engine results pages (SERPs).
Of course, it doesn’t act alone, nor is it the only impacting factor. There are other aspects like on-page SEO. But for this blog, we will focus on just the off-site one. When we consider the off-site ranking factors, it usually involves improving the search engine’s perception of the website. The same applies to users who come across the site.
You need to keep three things in mind: website relevance, trustworthiness, and domain authority. This is what you are working towards, and it all comes down to linking and promoting your website. This acts as a mode of vouching for the site, thereby supporting the credibility of your content.
SEO speaks to the relevance of your content or services.
Why Is Off-Page SEO Important?
It’s important because it tells search engines like Google that your website carries relevance to people searching for that topic on the web. Every time some other website hyperlinks your website, it acts as an endorsement that you have relevant and quality content.
Think of these external sources of impact as tie-breakers for websites that have similar rankings in terms of on-page SEO. Depending on where your off-site ranking falls, your site will be ranked on the SERPs.
Google looks for things like the number of backlinks to the website as well as the quality of said backlinks. The website with more backlinks from reputable sources will rank higher by that logic.
Off-Page SEO Vs. On-Page SEO
Off-page SEO is the effort to generate links and ratings so that your site rises in ranking and credibility over the course of a campaign. As we mentioned earlier, it is largely external factors that determine the ranking movement. With that being the case, you have to keep in mind that it is largely out of your control. Think of it like fishing – you cast the net or line and you just have to wait and hope for the best.
On-page SEO on the other hand is a little more in your control. It is the optimization of individual pages of your website. This can be done via keyword optimization, internal linking and so on. You can boost your rank in proactive and controlled ways. The most significant difference is that search engines like Google use on-page SEO to measure your page’s relevance, while it uses off-site SEO to measure credibility. Despite their differences, both have to work in tandem to make the most of any SEO campaign.
“It is nice to have valid competition; it pushes you to do better.” – Gianni Versace, Italian Fashion Designer
SEO Best Practices for Your SEO Campaign
Now that we have established what off-page SEO is and why it is so important, we can look at ways in which to boost your SEO campaign efforts.
#1. Link Building
One of the most popular techniques when it comes to off-site SEO is backlinking. The aim of this is to generate natural links that go back to your page. Getting these backlinks from reputable websites has two main benefits. For one, it drives traffic to the site. On the other hand, it helps determine your rank.
There are several ways in which you can get these reputable sites to carry your links. You could join an industry association. Try and get the link on the association’s website. Alternatively, you could reach out to bloggers, journalists or writers on other platforms asking them to host something that you created. This provides future opportunities for you to earn links to your website.
Another option is to focus on the quality of the content. This means generating high-quality blogs, videos, and other content that naturally draws in the clicks. If your content is interesting, they will come to you. Social media is a great option for the promotion of this content when you want to get the word out about your website and content.
We talked about blogging briefly in the previous point, but let’s get into a little more detail here. Blogging is a great way to generate linkable content for your brand and site. It is also a great contributor to off-page SEO efforts. Your audience can comment and share blogs, which would naturally generate links and spread your brand name across cyberspace. The key here is consistency. The more you post, the more your readership and Google interpret your website as a credible industry-relevant source for information. You don’t just generate links but loyalty.
A strong social media presence can help grow your brand.
#3. Social Media Marketing for Your Brand
While social media links don’t directly impact the rank of your website, social platforms are still some of the best ways to generate brand awareness. A strong online presence is very important for businesses in the modern landscape. It plays into the trustworthiness, reliability and overall credibility of the brand image.
Having a positive and consistent presence in the social media space gives your brand and business a more human feel. This is good for building traffic to your website. Ultimately it is an indirect source of SEO rank building.
#4. Writing for Publications
Writing for external publications is a good way to build your authority as a brand in the industry. At the same time, you can also promote your business’s products or services. This is a unique mode of publicity as it also taps into and pulls in customers who might otherwise be unfamiliar with your brand.
As a bonus, it also adds to your portfolio of generated content like blogs. You can use this portfolio and branch out. You can reach out to other publications and offer your writing services in exchange for some ‘quid-pro-quo’ as it were. Cross-promotion is the end-game here.
#5. Social Bookmarking
Social bookmarking is another important aspect of off-site SEO practices. Through this method of optimization, you would submit your content to platforms like Tumblr, Reddit and so on. These sites segment content for certain niches and audiences that it would appeal to. You can use this to your advantage as you could reach customers of specific demographics that you’re looking to target.
However, before you start submitting to these platforms, do your homework. Make sure you know which audiences you want to reach and that you will be able to. Sites like Reddit also have rules and regulations that you need to be familiar with before you take that first step. Remember, the last thing you want is to be flagged as submitting spam content. You want these sites to see your brand as a value-adding one.